Wants to rid yard of green iguanas

| 20/07/2017

Is there any way of repelling green iguanas from particular areas? Any chemical or plant that will keep them out of my yard? I have a dog but he’s afraid of them and runs away.

Auntie’s answer: I think this is one topic most people will agree on – that green iguanas are pests and we would be better off without them sullying our island. With that in mind, I asked your question of Cayman’s resident expert on all things iguana, Fred Burton, the manager of the terrestrial resources unit of the Department of Environment (DoE).

“Unfortunately there is no chemical deterrent we know of that is really effective,” Mr Burton explained, adding, “There are products such as ‘Iguana-Rid’ based on hot peppers, garlic and other such plant-based extracts, which do have a mild deterrent effect but not nearly enough to keep green iguanas away from places and plants they really want to reach.”

He said for now there are only really two effective deterrents, one of which is clearly not available to you — a dog that is not afraid of iguanas and can chase and kill them. The other suggestion is to put in a physical barrier that iguanas can neither climb nor get into, which includes smooth surfaces like the aluminium flashing you can see around trees that the creatures’ claws cannot grip.

And for people who find iguanas enjoying a dip in their pool, Mr Burton did mention a method that he has been told may be “somewhat effective” in preventing those unwanted guests. Believe it or not, the proposed solution is “a realistic crocodile/alligator/caiman decoy or statue. There are some reports that this has helped, though it is possible that its effect would fade over time.”

There is one last possibility for keeping pools iguana-free but Mr Burton stressed that the DoE has not assessed it so cannot recommend it. A company in the US is selling what they call an “alligator guard” which is an apparently real-enough looking gator head or full body that can float in a pool and scare away a variety of pests. Here is a link to the product page on the company’s website.

If anyone has success with the fake alligator, feel free to email the DoE. “We would be interested to know if anything like this is helping keep green iguanas away from anyone’s swimming pool,” Mr Burton said.

Readers are also welcome to offer any other ideas in a comment to this column.

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Category: Ask Auntie

Comments (19)

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  1. Chadd C. Bush says:

    Here is the real answer:Auntie should use google. I did.

    First of All:

    Do not leave food out, unattended. A bowl of fruit on the patio table unless you’re sitting there eating it, is not a good idea. Leftovers from a party should not be allowed to sit. Clean up your dinner mess right away. Iguanas are mainly herbivores but that doesn’t mean they won’t smell something good and want to eat it. They will TRY anything.
    Rid your lawn of dropped fruits. Iguanas love fruit. Even more so, they love low-hanging fruit, or fruit that’s easy to get to. If you have fruit trees or avocado trees, etc., take the time to pick up you yard and dispose of any dropped fruit. (If it’s good, keep it for yourself. If not, discard into a closed container/garbage can).
    Keep a lid on it. Iguanas will dig into your garbage looking for food. Keep a lid on your garbage can. Some iguanas are smart enough to lift that lid and slide in. So either put your garbage cans in a place they can’t get to, or put a cinder block on your can lid.
    Do not leave pet food out. Iguanas have been known to eat pet food. If you’re putting a bowl of dog food or a plate of cat food out for your pets, you’re inviting iguanas into your yard. Instead, feed your pets inside.
    Fill iguana holes. Iguanas like to dig. Wherever you see a hole, fill it. Best during the day when they’re out roaming. Don’t just fill it with dirt though. Stuff rocks into the hole first, then fill it with dirt and top it with sod. The iguana may return to dig again, but he won’t dig through large rocks. Any iguanas in the hole, won’t either. They’ll either dig another route out, or die in the hole. Eggs are less likely to hatch, too. (Sorry.)
    Do NOT feed the iguanas. It probably goes without saying, but the more you feed them, the more they will return. Don’t be friendly with them.
    Protect trees to prevent climbing. You can wrap trees with sheet metal guards, 18–36″ inches from the base to prevent climbing. The slippery metal makes trees difficult to climb.
    Wire netting around plants. You can use wire netting, cages or screens to prevent iguanas from entering plants and shrubs. As the plants and shrubs grow, the netting becomes less obvious but is still effective.
    Spray then with water. When you see an iguana in the yard, spray them with the hose. They also hate loud noises. Constant harassment can keep them from returning.
    Keep your yard clean. Excessive overgrowth or thickets are great places for iguanas to hide. Those areas should be cleaned out. Also, stacks of lumber or building materials, an overturned canoe, any other places under which iguanas can hide should be removed.
    Mulch piles. Consider dumping a pile of mulch into an out of the way corner of your yard. Iguanas like to dig to nest, but prefer to dig where it’s softest and easiest. Rather than digging at the foundation of your home, this may encourage them to dig in the mulch. When you notice a hole, check for eggs. Discard any eggs in a sealed plastic bag.
    Use an iguana repellent. There aren’t very many products out there for alleviating the nuisance iguana problem, and most of them don’t work anyway. The only product proven to work is IGUANA GONE All-Natural Iguana Repellent (@IguanaGone) It’s safe and easy to apply, no harmful chemicals or pesticides, it doesn’t KILL iguanas (so there are no stinky dead iguanas to worry about), it just keeps them away. You can buy IGUANA GONE at http://www.iguanagone.com.

  2. Anonymous says:

    My dog will kill any iguana in my yard and as a result I am iguana free. As other people suggest get a good Cayman dog and your problem could soon be behind you.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Your dog is a punk. Get a new one with a pair.

  4. Anonymous says:

    It’s time the Government allow us to at least have air rifles. Best weapon to deal with these pests and you would be better off using it as a club than shooting if you want to do harm to people with it. So why not let us have these vital tools!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Haven’t ever seen an iguana in my yard because our dog goes right for them. Best deterrent you can have. Plus, you get a new best buddy. Awesome animals.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Get another dog that isn’t frightened of and does chase iguanas there are plenty around you might even be able to borrow one, or foster/adopt one from Humane Society

  7. Anonymous says:

    what a wuss dog…..

  8. Anonymous says:

    I kill about 100 a year in my yard. I put up 2 ft. high square wire around my chain link and when I see them I chase them up against the fence, step on them, pick them up by the back of the neck, put their head on a big rock and send them home .

  9. Anonymous says:

    Havahart model 1079 – raccoon trap baited with mango

    • Anonymous says:

      I would like to know how Dart has been allowed to take two lanes of our main high way on the Seven Mile stretch, just past Royal Palms???

      • Anonymous says:

        To keep iguanas in…do try to stay on theme, there’s a good chap.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not our’s. Dart paid for it, Built it and has building something that makes The gov. road look very sad.And on time.

  10. Jo McLean says:

    Here is my ad on ecaytrade. Drop me a message and we can arrange for them to be removed.


  11. Anonymous says:

    Enforcement of the Immigration Law will solve that….

    • Anonymous says:

      Give the public implements, or allow every person who want to cull them to do do. When we could’ve curved the problem or have a solution to the problem, the backward people who are in charge did nothing.